EXCLUSIVE: Another week in Hollywood, another battle over commissions heading to the courts. Last week it was Bad Judge’s Kate Walsh going after her ex-managers for money that the star of the new NBC show says she doesn’t owe them. In late August, Criminal Minds’ Thomas Gibson’s former manager sued him for the 10% he claimed he was entitled to from the CBS series actor. Today, Resurrection’s Frances Fisher was blasted with a breach of oral contract complaint from her ex-reps Sanders Armstrong Caserta Management.
The filing in LA Superior Court seeks a “minimum amount” of $60,840 for the actress’ work on Season 2 of the ABC fantasy drama. The three-claim complaint (read it here) also is looking for “general damages in an amount to be proven at trial” and “a judicial declaration that SAC Management is entitled to a 10% commission on all of the Fisher Parties’ Earnings that the Fisher Parties receive at any time in the future pursuant to the Resurrection Agreement”The dollar amount is based on the math of Fisher’s per episode fee of $46,800 and that that the just recently launched Season 2 of Resurrection will go for 13 episodes. If it goes for more, SAC’s attorneys are going to look for more cash from Fisher and her Free Reign loan-out.
The backstory is pretty straightforward.
A little more than two months after getting the Resurrection gig, Fisher ended her three-year relationship with SAC on May 16, 2013. That termination also ended the more than 13-year relationship that the former Titanic actress had with manager Tammy Rosen, who had moved over to SAC in 2010.
As is far too common in these cases, it seems that at first everyone thought everyone was going to abide by the industry standard of paying the people who got you the job. “Immediately after SAC Management received the Fisher Parties’ written notice of termination of the Management Agreement, Rosen sent an email message to Fisher and a separate email message to Michael Greene (Fisher’s talent agent) and Jeff Bernstein (Fisher’s attorney), each of which confirmed that SAC Management would be entitled to commissions on the Fisher Parties’ income from Resurrection,” notes today’s filing. “After further discussion, Fisher expressly confirmed that she agreed to pay such commissions. As a result, on June 5, 2013, Nancy Sanders and Mark Armstrong of SAC Management wrote a confirming letter to Fisher, Bernstein and Greene, which states:
Thank you for getting back to us yesterday regarding commissions. As agreed upon, 10% will [be] paid on the original series contract for Resurrection on a per episode basis. We’ve all been doing this a long time and we appreciate that this was dealt with respectfully and in acknowledgement of Tammy’s hard work. Frances, best of luck on the series. We hope it’s a great experience for you.
Unfortunately, despite that apparent good will and good intentions, the 10% was never forthcoming, and now SAC has gone the legal route with Fisher.
SAC Management is repped legally by attorneys Bryan Freedman and Steven Stiglitz of LA’s Freedman & Taitelman. The firm also is representing Walsh and Dorfman in their respective commission lawsuits. (Freedman also is the attorney for Deadline’s parent company, PMC.)